Out with the old and in with the new.
As most years come and go our society tends to inundate us with pressures to make the new year the best year yet however, this is unrealistic. In theory, making resolutions should give us the momentum to achieve our goals but once the holidays are over and the reality of everyday responsibilities comes right back the resolutions tend to go out the window. The pressure we place on ourselves to make the next year better than the last is too much for anyone to sustain along with all of life's other obligations. Instead, I invite you to commit to setting intentions.
To set an intention nothing needs to be done other than telling ourselves we will do something and then acting on it. The keys to setting intentions are focus and clarity. The secret ingredient is passion. Without passion nothing will get done. Passion is your momentum and it can only come from within.
So, what is fueling you from within for 2017? What do you absolutely have to accomplish in the next year to feel that you are living your purpose?
You may have a goal to leave the office every day by 6pm to spend time with your family and friends. Great goal, but inevitably work intervenes with life. If all you’ve set is a goal to leave work by 6pm every time your boss hands you an extra responsibility, you may feel bad about not achieving a goal that sounded so easy to do. Who wants that kind of pressure?
Alternatively if you have an intention to spend as much quality time with your family and friends as possible you will still have to deal with those inconvenient work problems, but you will be guilt-free about coming into the office 30 minutes late the next morning to make time to take your kid to school or using your lunch break to meet a friend for coffee. Intentions give you permission to achieve success on your own terms.
To start, take stock of what didn’t pan out in 2016 and take responsibility for it. A common reason for things not working out is the amount of pressure we place on ourselves to achieve. For 2017, try a new approach. Instead of focusing on achievement switch your lens to focusing on how you want to feel. For example:
Feeling sluggish? Set an intention is to feel healthier. Where can you add more healthy habits to your life?
Feeling stressed? Set an intention to feel peaceful. Where can you add more self-care to your life?
See how easy it is? Rather than putting pressure on yourself to complete a to-do it that has potential to be endless try committing to experience your life in a new way.
There is no deadline but I recommend you start today, gain that momentum now so you can feel your best in 2017. Try these three tips to help launch you into a new way of being in 2017.
Set a timer for 10 minutes and write about 2016. What felt hard? What felt easy? What worked? What didn’t? Start there and see where you end up.
Choose the top 3 ways you want to feel in 2017. Write them down and display them where you can see them daily.
Check in weekly. At the end of each week carve out 10 minutes to check in with your intentions. Tweak yourself as necessary and you'll find yourself living your intentions sooner rather than later.
Remember, you have 365 days to be your best self. Let yourself off the hook and allow your intentions to manifest as the year unfolds one day at a time.